The Oakland Unsexy Companies Club is on a run.

Last weekend Bloomberg reported that shares of Oakland-based Cost Plus gained more than any other Nasdaq security in 2010, leaving local tech obsessions like Apple and Google in the dust.

And last week, it was shares of Oakland’s Clorox that whited out the gains of higher profile companies. The stock shot up almost eight percent on Friday after a report that busybody investor Carl Icahn had taken a nine percent stake in the company. Icahn wrote in a regulatory filing that he deemed Clorox shares undervalued.

Alas, this trading session, shares have currently given back almost four percent of that gain. This morning a UBS analyst downgraded the stock from “Buy” to “Neutral.” From CNBC:

The analyst said it was too early to understand the motivation behind Icahn’s interest. The investor’s targets seem to fall in three categories: break ups, merger and acquisition candidates, or companies that are pushed to improve business fundamentals.

“While Mr. Icahn is a successful activist investor, we struggle to have high conviction in any activist scenario playing out.”


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor for KQED's daily health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED News Fix.

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